The Rogue embraces a new styling theme, one that dresses up its familiar proportions with more interesting surfaces and frankly, a more mass-market appeal.
Nissan's done a positively Honda-like job in the past few years, evolving styling in gradual steps to remove the odder flourishes of the past. Remember the last Rogue's crazy grille treatments? They're broomed. There's a more straightforward grille bracketed by angled chrome bars and braced by LED running lamps. The side and fender sculpting's borrowed some lessons from the wild Juke--and clearly has seen the latest Santa Fe and CX-5, from the look of the chamfered taillamps. All the details push the Rogue's corners in more evocative directions than the plainer first-generation crossover.
Inside, Nissan has delivered a more handsomely finished interior, one with higher-quality materials. It's not damning it with faint praise, to call it elegantly ordinary. It's laid out for quick perception, with round knobs for climate control and audio framing a center stack with an LCD monitor, and a cowl over the gauges balanced out by a slight dip over a pair of slim vents. It's not wildly conceived with all-touch interfaces or asymmetrical lines or a shower of single-function buttons--and we're kind of in love with it for that reason.